Cleopatra VII Facts

Cleopatra VII is better known as Cleopatra.

She was the daughter of Ptolemy XII and was his favorite daughter.

Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, was a Macedonian Princess. She was the last Pharaoh set up in Egypt by Alexander the Great.

Cleopatra was 18 when her father died, and she became queen and her brother was king. A cabal of courtiers led by Pothinus removed Cleopatra from power and made Ptolemy sole ruler.

She was a mighty female Queen on her own and with her co-rulers.

Cleopatra Facts for Kids

  • Cleopatra was born in Alexandria, Egypt in 69 BC
  • After her father died, Cleopatra became queen and her brother king
  • Her reign lasted 21 years, from 51 BC until her death in 30 BC
  • Her full name was Cleopatra VII Philopator
  • Ancient sources suggest that she was poisoned, while others mention a snake biting her

Young Cleopatra

Cleopatra was born into a royal family that had ruled Egypt for about 300 years.

She was a very smart princess, and she learned a lot about how to rule Egypt from her dad.

Cleopatra’s family were Greek and not Egyptian, but they had ruled Egypt since Alexander the Great.

Cleopatra could speak and read in Greek, Latin, and Egyptian.

Queen Cleopatra

Cleopatra’s dad died when she was 18 years old.  He wanted her to rule the country with her younger brother.

Her younger brother Ptolemy XIII was only 10 years old, so Cleopatra took control of him.

When her young brother grew up, he did not like how much Cleopatra was in charge, so he took over as the chief Pharaoh.

When Julius Caesar went to Egypt in about 48 BC, Cleopatra met him and asked him for help.

Caesar agreed that he would help her to win back the throne of Egypt.

Caesar fought with Ptolemy’s army and won.  Ptolemy drowned in the River Nile when he was trying to get away from Caesar and his army.

Cleopatra was now in charge of Egypt again.

She ruled the country with another younger brother, Ptolemy XIV.  When he died, she ruled Egypt with her son Caesarion.

Julius Caesar Relationship

When Cleopatra and Julius Caesar met, they fell in love.

Cleopatra wanted Egypt to be powerful and strong without any help from Rome.

During her time as Pharaoh, she helped Egypt to trade with other countries and helped to make Egypt very rich.

When Julius Caesar was killed, Cleopatra went back to Egypt.

Mark Antony Relationship

Cleopatra invited Antony to come to Egypt before departing from Tarsos, and Antony visited Alexandria in November 41 BC. He had his subordinates drive the Parthians out of Anatolia and Syria and also restored former Ptolemaic lands to Cleopatra.

Mark Antony left Egypt in 40 BC due to troubles in Syria. He gave his governor 200 ships, and Cleopatra gave birth to twins Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene II.

The Perusine War interrupted Antony’s Parthian campaign in the east, in which Fulvia, Antony’s wife, attempted to cleave Antony away from Cleopatra. She was eventually besieged and exiled from Italy and then died.

Relations between Antony and Cleopatra soured when Antony married Octavia and sired her two children, Antonia the Elder and Antonia Minor. However, Cleopatra’s position in Egypt was secure, and Antony expanded Cleopatra’s domain and established new ruling dynasties and client rulers.

Cleopatra took over part of the Levant from the Ptolemies, including Phoenicia (Lebanon), Ptolemais Akko (modern Acre, Israel), Coele-Syria along the upper Orontes River, and the region surrounding Jericho in Palestine, which she leased back to Herod.

Antony’s enlargement of the Ptolemaic realm was exploited by his rival Octavian, who granted his wife Octavia and his own wife Livia extraordinary privileges of sacrosanctity.

Cleopatra accompanied Antony to the Euphrates and returned to Egypt after giving birth to Ptolemy Philadelphus. Antony lost 30,000 men in his Parthian campaign and was forced to return to Rome

The Death of Cleopatra

Cleopatra is mentioned in several ancient sources as having been bitten by a snake, while others state she was poisoned. In historical accounts, Cleopatra is said to have been poisoned and died from drinking poisonous mixtures.

After the death of Cleopatra, Octavian, the ruler of Rome took control of Egypt.  From this point, Egypt became part of the Roman Empire

What did you learn?

What animal bite Cleopatra?
A snake

Cleopatra and Julius Caesar had a son called Julius.  True or false?
False, he was called Caesarion.

Who did Cleopatra marry?
Mark Antony

Who did Cleopatra ask to help defeat her brother?
Julius Caesar

Cleopatra was the last Pharaoh.  True or false?
False, her son Caesarion the last Pharaoh